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Thread: Haverholme Prior, Lincs, October 2019

  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 2013
    People's Republic of South Yorkshire.

    Default Haverholme Prior, Lincs, October 2019

    1. The History
    The Priory is a monastery in the county of Lincolnshire, situated 4 miles north-east of Sleaford, just under a mile south-west of Anwick. It was founded in 1139 and was home to the only English order of the Cistercian monks or ‘Gilbertines’. Initially given to the monks by Alexander (The Bishop of Lincoln), it was the later then sold to Gilbert of Sempringham who had initially formed the order of monks. The order was dissolved under Henry VIII in 1539 and the house bought by the Finch-Hatton family. The family built a house of Gothic taste in the 1780s and for the next century it was used as a family home.

    George William Finch-Hatton the 10th Earl of Winchilsea (famous for duelling with the Duke of Wellington in 1829), had the house rebuilt in 1830 in a Tudor style by H.E. Kendall. Finch-Hatton later died here in 1858. Apparently in the early 1900s the family had a lion as a pet, which roamed around the house just like a cat. By the early 1920s it was then put up for sale. Here reports tend to conflict a little. Some report it was bought in 1926 by an American lady who then dismantled most of the priory, stone by stone, with the intentions of rebuilding it in America. However, while the cargo was in the dock in Liverpool, ready for shipping to the States, the lady in question died in a train crash. Subsequently, the stones were never shipped and instead were used to build part of the new docks in Liverpool. Other accounts state that the house was in fact demolished in 1927. Either way, this explains why the present ruins that remain (one tower and a portion of the ornamental balustrade) represent only a fraction of the original building dating around 1835.

    A couple of old archive pictures showing the place in its full glory:

    20191020_171207 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    20191020_171322 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The Priory has a ghostly reputation with unexplained footsteps reportedly to have been heard in and around the ruins. It now lies on private land as part of the Haverholme Estate and is a Grade II listed building and designated Ancient Monument.

    2. The Explore
    I first went to check this place out way back in April 2015. However, the weather was dull, and I didn’t get any internal shots. This was down to the ruins being very close to the estate houses and the fact that the ruins are in a paddock where horses’ graze, along with an electric fence. Hence, I’d been meaning to revisit the place for a while. A source tipped me off that the horses had now gone so as I happened to be passing thought it rude not to check it.

    This time around I was successful. The place is gradually falling down and will end up as a pile of stones given the owners appear to have no interest in saving the place or at least stabilising what is left. As it turns out the inside is mainly outside and, anyhow, the best shots are ones of the external stonework. But that aside, it is an incredibly photogenic ruin and worthy of half-an-hour of your time.

    3. The Pictures

    Part of the overgrown estate wall:

    img8387 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The ornamental balustrade:

    img8396 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8395 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The house from the south:

    img8391 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Brick end wall:

    img8394 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img8393 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The tower side on:

    img8392 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Back around the other side:

    img3735bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img3737 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img3734 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img3733 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img3710bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The two shields on the remaining tower:

    img3711bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img3712 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And in we go:

    Haverholme 01 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Haverholme 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    The floors in the tower were some of the last to fall through. You can still see traces of the plaster and wall colours:

    Haverholme 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The rest of it is pretty much piles of rubble and old floor beams:

    Haverholme 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Haverholme 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Haverholme 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Haverholme 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img3721 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img3719 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img3718 by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan, KJurbex, Mearing, MrGruffy, ocelot397, paul.richards.up, Romford Reject, The Wombat
  4. #2
    Join Date
    February 2015
    Aberdeen, Scotland


    A very sad sight to see compared with the "then" photo. I see a crack in the brick running full length upwards on one of the walls. The only good feature left are the towers.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  5. #3
    Join Date
    June 2014


    Another one on the brink of falling in on itself!
    What the hell am I doing, I mean really at my age!

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